Dad’s brain is a worse colour than this and has a larger and more ragged hole. But it is the shell of who he was, his memories, and self escaped. Kept on a shelf in a white plastic bucket, his donation is not in as many pieces as Einstein’s, but Dad’s brain does weigh more.
When I found the conditions he was dead in, I wanted to have him buried, like geochelone galapogeoensis, at sea. Dad liked the sea. But they told me a brain has the same properties as semtex. There are rules about human remains. Lobbing him over the side for the seagulls wouldn’t be allowed.
His brain also has a label, which is not as yellow as this. His label is wet with formaldehyde, the black felt tip fuzzing round the edges, without any tippex or crossings out. There’s no talk of Charles the 1st or Galapagos, or of giants and tortoises, no necessity even to write the paraenthisised ‘extinct’ for that is already known. I’m not sure he would even deserve the little ‘ok’. Because it is not ok that he is dead. Nor that I will never have the opportunity to ask him why he lied.
Image by Marc Schlossman